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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Date published:
June 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Ciolek preparing for Tour de France

    Gerald Ciolek (Milram) opens the Champagne.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 7:00 BST
    Shane Stokes

    German sprinter feels Suisse was useful in building form

    Milram sprinter Gerald Ciolek was a non-finisher in the Tour de Suisse, pulling out on Saturday’s tough stage to Liestal, but is satisfied with the workout he got in advance of the Tour.

    “It was a difficult race. Maybe in some stages I was missing some luck,” he told Cyclingnews. “I was involved in the crash, but overall it was good preparation for the Tour, I think. I am pretty happy with my condition right now.”

    Ciolek said that he had no lasting effects from the crash, saying that he was fortunate to suffer only flesh wounds. His best placing was fifth on stage two to Sierre.

    Like many of the competitors in the race, he will relax for a few days, then start preparing for a big appointment in July. “First of all, I will take some days off, get some rest,” he said. “I am looking forward to the nationals at the weekend…that is another goal for our team, to win the title there. Then the Tour is not so far away – you can’t do so much in this short time, so the main thing is about recovery.”

    Ciolek sprang to prominence when he won the German elite title in 2005. He stunned his compatriots on that occasion, beating Robert Forster and Erik Zabel to grab the jersey, despite being just 18 years of age.

    He then spent 2007 and 2008 with the T-Mobile and Columbia teams, riding alongside Mark Cavendish there and picking up some decent victories. He has seen his former team-mate struggle at times this season, but still expects him to be the rider to beat in July.

    “It might be a little bit more open, but I guess Columbia will still be the dominating team in the sprints,” he said, when asked if he thought that things would be different his time round. “I think Cavendish will be in the right condition for the Tour.”

    Ciolek will co-lead the Milram team with Linus Gerdemann. The latter will target hillier stages and...

  • Boonen must rest knee before national championships

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step).
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 9:19 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team says his Tour de France is not at risk

    Tom Boonen must rest his knee for a few days and will miss the Halle-Ingooigem race on Wednesday. However, the Quick Step sprinter expects to back in time for the Belgian championship on Sunday and the Tour de France which begins the following weekend.

    Boonen is the current Belgian national champion but abandoned the Tour de Suisse on Saturday due to pain in his left knee. He injured the knee in a crash in the Amgen Tour of California, and then again at the Tour de Suisse.

    He had the knee examined again Monday in Herentals, Belgium, and was told to rest the knee for several days. “Tom feels a constant slight pain, but with medication and a few days rest it should get better again quickly,” team manager Wilfried Peeters told

    "From Thursday, Tom can train for the Belgian championship on Sunday in Leuven. His ride in the Championship is not in danger, his condition will not suffer."

  • Vorarlberg-Corratec expects to be back for Österreich Rundfahrt

    Volksbank team manager Thomas Kofler
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 9:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Austrian team expects UCI to restore licence this week

    Team Vorarlberg-Corratec expects to have its licence back by the weekend, and then plans to continue its season, including the Österreich Rundfahrt, starting July 4.

    The Austrian Professional Continental Team had it licence revoked by the International Cycling Union earlier this month, without official explanation.

    According to Austrian media reports, it was because the team riders are employed by a personnel leasing company and not by the team's “paying agent”, or licence holder. Team manager Thomas Kofler indicated that the team has used this method for years without problem.

    There were rumours over the weekend that the team had ended its contracts with its riders, at a meeting Friday, with at least one rider confirming it on his website in a report which has since been deleted.

    “After our licence was revoked by the UCI, we reacted immediately and have substantially cleared up the problems,” Kofler said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “By the end of the week we expect a decision from the UCI in favour of our athletes and plan to ride the Österreich Rundfahrt.”


  • Pozzato to stay with Katusha in 2011

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) looking a little weary on the podium
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 10:44 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Rodriguez also agrees to stay with Russian team

    Filippo Pozzato has signed a new one-year contract with Katusha and will remain the Russian team’s leader for the cobbled classics in 2011. Pozzato opted for a one-year extension of his contract.

    Spain’s Joaquin Rodriguez has also re-signed with the Russian team but for two years. Rodriguez won the Vuelta a Catalunya and GP Miguel Indurain in the spring.

    Pozzato has been negotiating with team manager Andrei Tchmil for several months and the two finally reached an agreement after a reportedly six-hour meeting over the weekend. Pozzato won a stage at the Giro d’Italia and the recent Ballerini Day criterium but his classics campaign was affected by illness. 

    The 28-year-old Italian is back in training after taking a break following the Giro d’Italia. However he will not defend his Italian national title on Sunday because of extremely hilly course. He will return to action at the Tour of Poland, whicht begins on August 1. He will then ride the Vuelta as a build-up to the world championships in Australia, the big goal of the second half of his season.

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi confirm their Tour de France nine

    Euskaltel-Euskadi missed the break
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 11:20 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Basque team aiming for stage win and high finish for Sánchez

    The Euskaltel-Euskadi team has confirmed its line-up of nine riders for this year’s Tour de France. The team will be led by Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez. Joining him on the start line in Rotterdam on July 3 will be Egoi Martínez, Iván Velasco, Juanjo Oroz, Alan Pérez, Rubén Pérez, Gorka Verdugo, Amets Txurruka and Iñaki Isasi. Aitor Hernández has been named as the reserve rider. It will be the Basque team’s 10th appearance at the Tour de France.

    Team manager Igor González de Galdeano has said that the team’s principal goals are a stage win and a high overall finish for Sánchez, who finished sixth place in Paris the last time he rode the Tour in 2008. “Winning a Tour stage has been one of the priorities we’re focusing on. We’ve been preparing for this for a year now,” said Galdeano.

    The Basque team will be aiming to put the disappointment of last year’s Tour de France behind them. Mikel Astarloza won the Alpine stage into Bourg St Maurice, but it was subsequently revealed that he had tested positive for EPO in a random dope test undertaken just before the start of the Tour. Now banned, Astarloza is likely to be formally stripped of that victory.

    Galdeano took several of his riders to inspect the cobbled sections of the Tour stage into Arenberg to give them a taste of what they face during stage three on July 6. Having experienced the cobbles, if only in training, Galdeano insists his riders are not at all afraid of what they are up against. “What we have to ensure is that we don’t fall and we don’t lose time. We don’t want any mishaps,” he said.

    Galdeano admits that his riders will be particularly motivated during the four Pyrenean stages, when the mountain roads are sure to be packed with thousands of orange-clad Basque fans.

    His Tour selections also suggest that...

  • Nibali targets Italian national championships

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) savours victory in Asolo
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 12:50 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Liquigas rider to miss Tour de France

    Vincenzo Nibali hopes to conclude the first part of his 2010 season with victory at the Italian national championships on Sunday. He will then take two weeks off the bike, miss the Tour de France and then target the Vuelta Espana in September.

    The 25 year-old Sicilian is one of the favourites for the hilly 260km course near Treviso and is again training at altitude after winning the Tour of Slovenia at the weekend.

    Nibali finished third in the Giro d'Italia, despite being called into the Liquigas-Doimo team at the last minute after Franco Pellizotti was pulled from the team because of his Biological Passport problems. He had originally planned to target the Tour de France this season after finishing seventh in 2009. However his change of programme means he will now take a break in July and target the Vuelta Espana and World Championships.

    "I've managed to hold onto my form after the Giro d'Italia by mixing a few days at home, a few team meetings and some time at altitude at the Passo Sal Pellegrino. It's also thanks gaining experience and the confidence getting some big results gives you," Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "I've got two weeks off after the Italian championships and then I star racing again at the Tour of Poland, then the Vuelta and then I hope the World Championships if I'm selected. I'll end the season at the Tour of Lombardy."

    Nibali is not a good sprinter and knows he will have to go on the attack if he wants to take the Italian tricolore national champion's jersey.

    "If I want to win, I've got to anticipate the sprinters, go on the attack, risk things and go for it. I've got to race instinctively but now I've got more confidence, I make less mistakes," he said.

    "I think there are five favourites: Basso, who's the top of the class; Cunego, who will be good even if he's been quiet; Ricco, who was riding well in Slovenia, Visconti, who's always tough to beat and Carrara, who's on...

  • Saxo Bank names Tour de France line-up

    The Saxo Bank team took responsibility for the chase.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 14:26 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Stuart O’Grady makes the final nine

    Team Saxo Bank has named their nine riders for this year's Tour de France, with Australian veteran Stuart O'Grady securing a place ahead of time trialist Gustav Larsson.

    The nine riders are: Fabian Cancellara, Andy Schleck, Fränk Schleck, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Matti Breschel, Chris Anker Sørensen, Jakob Fuglsang and Nicki Sørensen. Larsson will remain on standby in case of injuries before the start of the Tour de France in Rotterdam on July 3.

    O'Grady fractured his collarbone on stage five of the Tour of California but has made a rapid recovery and secured his place thanks to helping Fränk Schleck win the Tour de Suisse.

    "We have ten riders on our team, of which all are ready and fit to do the race, and that has made the job of selecting the line-up extremely difficult. That's why the decision has been made of tactical reasons," team owner Bjarne Riis said in a statement issued by the team.

    "It has been a problem of pure luxury but it's not easy telling a rider to stay home when you know he would have done a great job in the race. However, we are now looking forward to a Tour de France with Team Saxo Bank in front of the race."

    Saxo Bank will target overall victory at the Tour de France with Andy and Fränk Schleck. Fabian Cancellara is the big favourite for the 8.9km prologue in Rotterdam and the final time trial in Bordeaux.

  • Armstrong leads RadioShack in search of eighth Tour victory

    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 15:40 BST
    Susan Wesetmeyer

    Klöden, Leipheimer and Horner in the team

    Lance Armstrong will take aim at winning his eighth Tour de France, leading the RadioShack team in this year's race, which starts July 3 in Rotterdam. Team manager Johan Bruyneel named the team in a video message published on the team's website.

    Armstrong, 38, won the Tour de France seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005. After a three-year retirement, he returned to racing in 2009 and finished third overall in the Tour last year. He has only 34 racing days so far this season, and had to drop out of the fifth stage of the Amgen Tour of California after a crash. However since returning to Europe this month, he has consistently improved, finishing third overall in the Tour de Luxembourg and second in the Tour de Suisse.

    Also in the RadioShack Tour de France team is Andreas Klöden, who celebrates his 35th birthday today. He will ride his seventh Tour. The German finished second in the race in 2004 and 2006. He has had a strong season so far, with numerous top ten finishes. Most recently he finished eighth overall in the Tour de Suisse.

    Levi Leipheimer is also riding his seventh Tour,. His highest finish was third in 2007. The 36-year-old is still looking for his first win this season. The American finished only third in the Amgen Tour of California, which he had won the previous three years.

    Another key lieutenant will be Yaroslav Popovych. The 30-year-old from the Ukraine has never quite lived up to his early promise, but has been a faithful helper over the years. The USA's Chris Horner will also be on the squad, having missed out last year.

    Janez Brajkovic, who recently won the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, will make his Tour debut. Gregory Rast, Sergio Paulinho and Dmitriy Muravyev round out the team.

    RadioShack for the Tour de France: Lance Armstrong, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, Janez Brajkovic, Sergio...